Liberia is a world away from Amy Holstad and her mother, Jayne Petersen of Fargo, North Dakota, but for Victoria, it is home. Victoria came to North Dakota in 2004 as a refugee. Her husband was killed during the war in the 1990s, and according to a local newspaper account, she is raising two daughters and four nephews earning just $7.60 an hour.
When Victoria learns that Amy and Jayne are giving her $1,000 for a shopping spree at Wal-Mart and treating the family to lunch at a local café, Victoria pumps her fists in the air. "I'm very happy! I'm very happy!" she tells the newspaper.
With $1,000 left to spend, Amy and Jayne decide to address a problem Jayne sees daily as a lunchroom manager at an elementary school—children who come to school without enough money for lunch or a snack. The school lunch program covers some children, but not all who need it, Jayne says. The school also provides time for a milk break, but often children have nothing to drink while others sip the milk or juice they buy from the school.
Jayne and Amy establish an $800 milk fund and a $200 lunch fund for those who come to school empty handed. Two local businesses add another $400 to the milk fund!
Jan Sliper, the school's food service director, is very grateful. "Your gift will fill the gap," she says. "It has been proven that well-nourished kids are better able to succeed in the classroom. You can feel good that maybe, just maybe, you will have helped a child succeed in his day at school."